Bob Lindner and Craig White – Chef/Owners
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When you think organic, you may be visualizing a carrot flecked with soil straight from the ground or a bundle of beets – you probably aren’t thinking of pizza. At Hillside Pizza, organic, local and sustainable are the priority, at it’s not at the expense of good flavor. Customers have been known to declare Hillside Pizza the best they’ve ever tasted.
Back in the early 2000’s, Bob had a small organic farm and Craig was a chef at The Bement School. The two met doing Tai Chi, and hatched a plan to use organic vegetables from Bob’s farm to make pizza for a school fundraiser. Sixth graders who had previously associated ‘organic’ with ‘cardboard and tofu’ were easily converted. Bob and Craig realized they could use their product as an educational tool to teach kids that organic tastes great and is good for the body as well as the planet.
For six years they worked out of the Greenfield Community Kitchen, producing pizzas and baked goods that local community groups could use in their fundraising campaigns. Positive feedback led them to open a store in South Deerfield where they could continue to work with fundraising while offering their organic pizza to the public. Since that first year they have helped community groups raise over $160,000. This is pizza on a mission.
The restaurant is open three days a week, which allows Bob and Craig to cut down on energy use and maintain a focus on fundraising. They developed a “Take and Bake” pizza that is made fresh but can be frozen if you plan to enjoy it at a later date. “Scoop and Bake” cookies make a delicious dessert. Both are available at local retail stores for when the craving hits and Hillside is closed.
When you order a vegetable pizza you’ll most likely be getting produce grown right nearby, at Bob’s Hillside Garden or Bloody Brook Farm. Part of the mission at Hillside is to serve healthy, all natural and organic foods while supporting farmers. Their commitment to local extends beyond vegetables in the form of Appalachian Naturals dressings and cookies made with maple syrup from a local sugar shack. Bob and Craig believe that local businesses should support one another in order to create a stronger community.
At Hillside Pizza, they take sustainability seriously. Compostable containers made of bamboo line the counter shelves, all food waste goes to the cows and gardens at Bloody Brook Farm, and energy use is kept to a minimum. Even the plasticware is recyclable, made of potato fibers and destined to return to the soil someday. On the days the restaurant is closed (Monday-Wednesday and Sunday), all the appliances are shut off except one refrigerator, in which all the food is stored. Garbage produced on an average day at the restaurant fills just one trash can.
At Hillside Pizza, expect quality food you can feel good about. The concept of “passing it on” comes to a fore here, and supporting this business means working together for a healthier planet and a stronger community.
Hillside Pizza has locations in South Deerfield and Hadley. Open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am-8pm. For fundraising and catering information visit the website.
Chefs Bob and Craig would like to share this recipe for a popular pizza atHillside that uses fresh and local ingredients…
Homemade or store-bought crust
Homemade or store-bought tomato sauce
Slather the crust with tomato sauce and top with shredded mozzarella, basil leaves and tomato slices. Bake and enjoy!